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Related Categories: East Bay | Arts + Action
Oakland’s famed Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi’s 500th guitar on display
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:51 PM
Oakland’s Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi’s Diospyros Guitar
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-1_1.jpg
Oakland’s famed Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi’s 500th guitar on display

By Lynda Carson - May 18, 2020

Oakland - One of Oakland’s secrets is that it is home to some of the worlds finest steel string acoustic guitar builders, who have been making some exquisite beautiful handmade guitars here for many years for professional musicians, and collectors.

I feel honored to write about Oakland's famed Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi, and the incredible beautiful handmade guitar he built that is known as the Diospyros guitar. Thanks in advance to Ervin Somogyi who worked with me to bring this story to you, including the photos in this story. Thank you very much Ervin Somogyi!

Oakland's Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi’s 500th Guitar Known As The Diospyros Guitar:

In the past few days, Oakland’s Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi’s beautifully exquisite 500th handmade guitar known as the Diospyros became on display, and available for sale with Dream Guitars, in North Carolina, and may be seen or heard by clicking here.

Dream Guitars is owned by Paul Heumiller, and Dream Guitars has some of the finest beautiful handmade guitars available to musicians and collectors throughout the United States, and around the world.

The guitar that became available with Dream Guitars was handmade and built by Ervin Somogyi in his guitar making workshop in Oakland during 2017, and is called the Diospyros, a modified dreadnought guitar.

According to some information on Ervin Somogyi’s website, it states, “Diospyros is the generic name for ebony, and this guitar is made up of lots of ebony tiles mixed in with contrasting tiles of Yellowheart wood.  Overall, the pattern looks a bit like all the Midwest farmland that one flies over and sees if one looks out of the airplane window; or, on a different scale, a stylized version of the fitted-together-cobblestone streets one finds in Mexican towns.”

Guitarist Michael Watts spent a little time with Ervin’s guitar called the Diospyros before it was sold and eventually appeared for sale as a preowned guitar at Dream Guitars. You may hear guitarist Michael Watts playing some music on Ervin Somogyi’s exquisite handmade Diospyros guitar by clicking here.

Oakland’s famed Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi:

I spoke with Oakland’s famed Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi, earlier today about the one of a kind beautifully exquisite handmade guitar he built that is called the Diospyros, that became available with Dream Guitars.

Master Luthier, Ervin Somogyi said, “It is a very unique beautiful guitar of fine craftsmanship and quality, that may become a fine wonderful museum piece someday.

A friend contacted me a few days ago, and sent me a link to the website where the Diospyros guitar I built that is being sold by Paul Heumiller of Dream Guitars, may be found.

The fellow I sold it to originally, presently has some financial problems. I am not sure of all the details of his financial problems. However, the stock market is very nervous presently, and a lot of people have lost a lot of money since the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic occurred, and keeps spreading across the nation.

I can easily understand why the fellow I sold the guitar to may want to sell it in these difficult financial times that we presently find ourselves in. He still owes me some money for the guitar I built, and I hope he can pay back what he owes me after the guitar is sold. Paul Heumiller of Dream Guitars knows a lot of people who have money that he is selling guitars to, that are made by other luthiers/guitar builders making some handmade guitars that are available for sale.

I sold the Diospyros guitar to the original owner for $130,000. Paul Heumiller of Dream Guitars is asking $133,895 for the guitar. I really thought that Dream Guitars did a wonderful job of taking the many different photographs of the guitar I built, and hope the guitar finds itself a nice home after it is sold.”

According to the website for Dream Guitars where the guitar may be found available for sale, Dream Guitars is asking $133,895 for the Somogyi handmade Diospyro guitar. However, Dream Guitars is offering a reduced cash price for the guitar for a mere $129,995 for those who may be interested.

Not many luthiers/guitar makers manage to make 500 guitars in their lifetime, but Ervin Somogyi has survived long enough in the business to have made more than 500 guitars since he started building guitars in the early 1970s. Ervin has definitely had some challenges through the years, especially when his guitar workshop in his house was burnt down during the Oakland hills fire back in October of 1991.

Ervin Somogyi presently shares his guitar building workshop space in the same Oakland location with Master Luthier, Leo Buendia, who also makes some fine acoustic handmade guitars, and they make some of the finest steel string guitars that may be found available anywhere.

Born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary, Ervin Somogyi celebrated his 77th birthday a few days ago, and I hope that he had a good time celebrating his birthday with family, and friends.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:54 PM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-3_1_copy.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:55 PM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-15_1.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:57 PM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-16_1.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:58 PM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-24_1.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Monday May 18th, 2020 11:59 PM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-46_1-1.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
§Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
by Lynda Carson
Tuesday May 19th, 2020 12:00 AM
sm_2017-somogyi-diospyros-modified-dreadnought-ebony-spruce-500-52_1-1.jpg
Another photo of Ervin Somogyi's Diospyros guitar
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